A journalist for the Irish Times compared Vice President Mike Pence’s recent visit to Ireland and strong declaration of support for Brexit to a house guest who was discovered to have “shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him.”
Miriam Lord, credited as a “colour writer and columnist” for the Irish Times, goes on to describe Pence’s admiration and affinity for Ireland and his graciousness to his hosts President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. But, as Lord describes it, Pence was unable to dissuade the anxiety his Irish hosts had about the impending separation of the United Kingdom from the European Union. “Up to their oxters for the last three years in Brexit worry,” Lord says. “[Vardkar and Higgins] hoped to impress upon him Ireland’s fears about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the country.”
Lord, 57, is a celebrated and seasoned Irish journalist who was awarded the Best Political Journalist Award by the National Newspapers of Ireland in 2011.
She describes Pence’s fondness for Ireland and his connection to the home of his ancestors. “Pence, after all, is Irish American and wastes no opportunity to go misty-eyed about his love for the ‘Old Country’ as he lards on his Mother Machree schtick on both sides of the Atlantic,” Lord writes.
It was at this point, the author suggests, that Pence “shat on the new carpet.” Lord minces no words in her disappointment that Pence, 60, would go from warmly greeting the mother of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his own mother in tow to a “frosty” press conference in which he urges Ireland and other members of the European Union to negotiate “in good faith” with the new Prime Minister of the UK. It seemed that Lord felt that a warm reception and exchange of niceties with the Irish leaders might be enough to persuade him to bend his and President Trump’s support for Brexit and Boris Johnson.
“The local crowd raised eyebrows and wondered what he thinks the aforementioned EU has been doing for the last three years, if not negotiating in good faith with the UK,” writes Lord.
She goes on to describe the perceived incredulity of Pence to make “it worse by not only mentioning ‘good faith’ and ‘Boris Johnson’ in the same context but by also requesting his hosts to have ‘respect for the UK’s sovereignty.'” Lord praised Varadkar for maintaining his “stoic courtesy” through the vice president’s comments.
Lord poked fun at Pence’s personal rule of not being alone with a woman who was not his wife and suggested the vice president intentionally omitted mention of Varadkar’s Indian father.
Lord also took aim at Pence’s religious beliefs, assuming he and his wife Karen were most likely made uncomfortable by the openly gay Taoiseach, despite the Pences’ cordial and gracious behavior. “Brave Mike sat down to lunch with the Taoiseach and his partner Matthew and managed not to choke on his Dublin Bay prawns,” Lord writes. “The VP’s wife Karen, who recently took up a part-time teaching position in a school which bans LGBT pupils and staff, kept her fillets of venison down despite the company.”
She concludes her article with a snarky “God Bless America.”